Reason Roundup

Real Distinctions Between Democrats Emerged During Last Night's Debate

Perhaps the biggest difference is how much trust the candidates place in individuals.


What happens when the Democratic presidential candidates stop being polite and start getting real? The most substantive and watchable debate yet, apparently.

Last night's Democratic Party showdown on CNN saw plenty of candidates (and debate moderators!) calling each other out for past missteps. But candidates also seemed more intent on singling themselves out. Rather than simply agreeing to support slogans popular on the left—"Medicare for All," for instance—many offered at least some details on how their preferred policies would work and specified ways in which these plans differed from those of their colleagues.

I watched the debate from the Reason DC office along with a gaggle of other staffers. We were pleasantly surprised by Andrew Yang; stunned (but pleased) by the poor performance turned in by Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.); and happy to hear so many candidates at least pay lip service to getting out of Afghanistan and ending America's endless wars.

To me, one of the biggest takeaways of the night was how much the various candidates differ in their trust of individuals. Again and again, candidates kept coming back (implicitly and explicitly) to the idea of trusting Americans to make decisions for themselves versus trusting politicians to know what's best for everyone. Libertarians obviously appreciate the former. And while none of the candidates are perfect in this regard, Yang, Pete Buttigieg, and to some extent Cory Booker seem to fall into the trust people camp, with Sanders, Harris, and Warren falling most strongly in the "no, trust us" camp.

This divide was most on display in a discussion about health care. Here are some of the high and low points from that exchange:

• Former Vice President Joe Biden's plan was the easiest to understand. He stressed that it will build on Obamacare, not tear it down; that there will be an option for government-run plans, but people can still choose private insurance; and that it will cost a lot less money than grander plans from other candidates. He also noted that he has actually specified "how we'll pay for it"—in contrast to other candidates who dance around direct questions about their health care proposals and their costs.

• Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) said how we'll pay for Medicare for All is simple: We, as a whole, won't. No, she'll make "the rich" pay. When a moderator asked if taxes will go up for the middle class, Warren evaded the question, instead rambling about how lowering point-of-service health care costs is what families really care about. She seems to hope Americans are too dumb to realize that they would have more money for out-of-pocket costs if the government took less money from their paychecks.

• Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) shouted about the pharmaceutical industry again and championed his version of Medicare for All.

• Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL–Minn.) bashed Sanders' plan as not a "bold idea" but a "bad idea." She pointed out that it would abolish private insurance within four years. She was striving hard to position herself as The One True Moderate up there.

• Pete Buttigieg said Sanders' bill doesn't put enough trust in the American people. "I trust the American people to make the right choice for them, why don't you?" he asked. (Sanders' response was, essentially, that people will like Medicare for All and they can still choose between government-approved doctors so who cares.)

• Kamala Harris took her usual all-sides approach—we should have Medicare for All but also "choice"—and then launched into a tirade about President Donald Trump. (Nearly every time she was called to talk during this debate, Harris tried to turn it into a referendum on Trump. It got tedious.) Harris also talked about how everyone on stage wanted good things for health care and they shouldn't fight on stage about policy specifics, saying that the "discussion is giving the American people a headache." It felt like the wrong move—a condescending, elitist bid for the masses to just trust that these benevolent leaders have their best interests at heart and not worry about who provides their insurance, who provides their care, who will pay.

• Andrew Yang made the bold choice to lead with an ethnic joke ("I am Asian, so I know a lot of doctors") and then talked about needing to trust people to make their own health care decisions.

• Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro praised Obamacare but went on to bash Biden, implying the vice president was losing his memory and saying he would be better at representing Obama's legacy on health care than Biden is.

• Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (R–Texas) both tried to be uniters, talking about supporting universal health coverage policies that still preserve choice.

The debate stage saw some (but too little) criminal justice reform commentary, with Castro and Booker bringing up the need for reform policing and roll back mass incarceration. Then moderator Linsey Davis threw Harris a question about her criminal justice past:

You used to oppose the legalization of marijuana, now you don't. You used to oppose outside investigations of police shootings, now you don't. You said that you've changed on these and other things because you were, quote, "swimming against the current and thankfully, the currents have changed." But when you had the power, why didn't you try to affect change then?

Harris called these "distortions" of her record. C.J. Ciaramella explains why that's not true. (If you want a deeper dive on all that, see Reason's July cover story.)

Harris was shaky—seriously, she literally appeared to be slightly shaking—and stumbled over her words during this answer, and some subsequent ones. At one point, she said Trump reminds her of "that guy in the Wizard of Oz" behind the curtain (that would be the wizard) and then broke into a strange fit of giggles. She had this bizarre exchange with Biden about executive orders:

"Let us not now pretend that Joe Biden brought anything like coherence to [the debate]," writes Reason editor at large Matt Welch in a recap this morning. But Biden was perhaps the only one who seemed at all concerned with constitutional "constraints on the executive branch carrying out the domestic policy whims of the Democratic electorate."

I missed most of the debate exchange on guns, as we discussed what the heck was going on with Harris and then dealt with rumors of a rodent by the Reason TV desks. (False alarm, phew.) Then came the immigration portion (and the Biden pile-on).

• The former vice president presented an overly rosy picture of immigration policy during the Obama years, and Castro rightfully (and forcefully) calls him out on it. Castro also accused Biden of taking credit for all the good parts of the Obama years while keeping his distance from all the bad parts.

• Warren blamed a lack of U.S. aid to Central America for the current "crisis at the border." (Even on this, she can't help but making her big solution to just get the government to pay for more things.)

• Buttigieg gave a good answer, which included proposing "community renewal visas" that would draw immigrants to rural and small-town areas suffering from population decline. He complained that the last real reform and new ideas on immigration came in the '80s.

• Yang offered possibly the best answer on immigration, one that didn't let bad policies off the hook but also didn't dwell solely on the plight of the most misfortunate immigrants or the blame owed to the Trump administration. "My father grew up on a peanut farm in Asia with no floor and now his son is running for president. That is the immigration story that we have," he said, adding some numbers on how many immigrants start their own businesses. He thinks we need to tell Americans more positive stories about immigrants and their contributions to this country, and to give potential immigrants a more positive image of America as a good place for businesses and families.

"I don't hate Yang," Peter Suderman said at this point, and we murmured in agreement. (More here on Yang's performance last night and his announcement that his campaign will hold a contest to give people money.)

On trade, most of the candidates condemned Trump's tariffs and the trade war with China but varied on how much economic protectionism they would employ themselves.

• Klobuchar talked about Middle American soybean farmers, because she is incapable of answering a question without reminding us she's from the Midwest.

• Castro said he would "ratchet down" the trade war with China but use U.S. leverage to force countries like China and North Korea to address human rights abuses.

• Harris condemned Trump conducting "trade policy by tweet" and said, surprisingly directly, "I am not a protectionist Democrat."

• Sanders touted his opposition to free trade agreements and said "what we have got to do is develop a trade policy that […] understands that if a company shuts down in America and goes abroad, and then thinks they're going to get online to get a lucrative federal contract, under Bernie Sanders, they got another guess coming."

• Booker made a bald joke—"I'm the only person on this stage who finds [Canadian Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau's hair very menacing"—in service of condemning Trump "using a national security waiver to put tariffs on Canada."

• Biden said "the fact of the matter is, China—the problem isn't the trade deficit, the problem is they're stealing our intellectual property."

• Warren condemned U.S. companies who move operations abroad and said she wants to negotiate trade with unions, environmentalists, and farmers "at the table."

"She is genuinely worse on trade than anybody," said Shikha Dalmia, to a collective mmmm-hmmm from the table here.

Finally, we got around to some foreign policy talk.

• Warren had her best moment of the night here, in my opinion. She said she had asked a lot of military leaders what winning would look like in Afghanistan, and their response was [nonsensical mush-mouthed noises]. "We are not going to bomb our way to a solution with Afghanistan," she continued. "The problems in Afghanistan are not problems that can be solved by the military. We need to work with the rest of the world."

• Yang said "we have to start owning what we can and can't do. We're not very good at rebuilding countries."

• Buttigieg said "we have got to put an end to endless war," mentioned that troops serving in Afghanistan today may not have even been alive during 9/11, and said that the best way to not be in bad wars is "to not start them" in the first place. He called for three-year sunsets on congressional authorization for use of military force.

• Sanders criticized military spending ("I don't think we have to spend $750 billion on the military when we don't even know who our enemy is") and got in a good dig at Biden: "One of the differences between you and me — I never believed what Cheney and Bush said."

• Biden gave a confused answer that downplayed his previous support for military interventions.

The night ended with the candidates 1) doing that thing where they all compete to have the most simultaneously sad and relatable origin story, and 2) talking about what this election means. Booker said the election wasn't a referendum on Trump but "on us and who were are going to be together." Biden inexplicably quoted his dad and Kierkegaard.

The candidates also talked about everything from education ("most of the Democratic debate participants had one big idea: throw more money at public schools and public school teachers," writes Robby Soave) to factory farming, climate change, Venezuela, guns (O'Rourke wants yours), child care, reparations for slavery, racism, and much more. You can see a transcript of the whole thing here.

Noticeably absent was any discussion of abortion, birth control, or other reproductive issues. Nor was there much talk about drug policy, prison reform, or overcriminalization. Aside from Buttigieg telling his coming out story, little was said about LGBTQ rights. And nobody asked about vaping panic or (and thank goodness on this last one) Russian collusion.

None of the candidates proved perfect (or even especially good) in their willingness to put more trust in the American people than in politicians and bureaucrats. But at least some candidates were willing to entertain the idea. Alas, those are the same candidates that consistently go nowhere in the polls.


  • In case you haven't yet tired of reading about David French, Sohrab Ahmari, and "the future of conservatism."
  • Reason's resident cocktail snob evaluates White Claw:

NEXT: There's Only 1 Democrat Talking About the Constitution, and It's (Shudder) Joe Biden

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  1. When I was a teenager a long time ago, there was a certain type of alcoholic drink believed to almost certain to get a teenage girl drunk – the one most like a soft drink. White Claw is that drink in the 21st century. History does not repeat, but does rhyme.

    1. White Claw does not rhyme with Annie Green Springs.

    2. As a bartender we called the jack and diet coke mixed drink a sorority girl.

    3. In the 80s-early 90s, it was wine coolers, in the 90s it was Zima. This is just the latest basic bitch alcohol fad.

      1. Bartles and Jaymes!

        1. Skinny girl and barefoot wine.

          1. Finally got my wife after 17 years to sort of give up her obsession with candy flavored whites and start enjoying the complexity of drier reds.

            1. That’s like saying you got her to give up bacon to appreciate organic broccoli.

              1. No. It is like saying I got her to give up a McDonald’s cheeseburger to enjoy a garlic butter rubbed ribeye cooked over a mesquite fired grill.

        2. “We appreciate your support.”

          And chill a chella while your’e at it.

        3. Bartles and Jaymes!

          Yeah, that shit wasn’t half bad on a hot day.

    4. Yep, what a friend once referred to as LPR: liquid panty remover.

    5. It’s like poetry so they rhyme

  2. “Noticeably absent was any discussion of abortion, birth control, or other reproductive issues.”

    Well, a debate is typically about highlighting differences. And modern Democrats are unanimous in supporting access to abortion care throughout all 9 months of pregnancy. Maybe somebody figured it wouldn’t make compelling TV to have everyone on stage in total agreement.

    OTOH I would have appreciated at least some discussion of the fact that Drumpf is literally turning this country into The Handmaid’s Tale.


  3. How is reason completely ignoring the PP trial against undercover journalists? They’ve now admitted on stand everything in the video was true. Yesterday it was also revealed Obama’s doj was in loved as lynch sought communication with harris.

    We have government criminalizing journalism they dont like. Think this deserves at least a roundup link.

    1. Involved* not in love.

    2. If you’re not happy here, you can leave.

      1. Aww. How cute. You jumped right to emotion instead of an intellectual statement. How precious.

      2. From reasons self description:

        “We produce hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce. ”

        Apparently jcw has no problem with government charging journalists with 15 felonies in coordination with a private entity. Apparently this isnt a civil liberty issue to jcw.

        Lol. You’re an idiot jcw.

        1. There are lots of things I’d like to see Reason cover that they don’t. But that’s not a good reason to assume that they have no problem with what is happening in every story they don’t decide to cover.

    3. How is reason completely ignoring the PP trial against undercover journalists?

      For the same reason everybody else is ignoring it. Unless Trump tweets something about it, it might as well not exist. Who wants to report on the latest city council meeting when there’s video of a cat falling off a bunk bed to be aired?

      1. Missed the part about federal DoJ weighing in to prosecute them didya?

        1. So now I guess they are covering for the Trump administration.

    4. How is reason completely ignoring the PP trial against undercover journalists?

      A rhetorical question, I presume.

    5. What about thanking Reason for providing this daily commentariat forum where you can bring up your pet issue EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY?

      Looks like you are covering it for Reason.

      1. Once upon a time, the morning links were a place for the commenters to post links to stuff Reason wasn’t covering. Now it’s a place for useless dicks to bitch about Reason not talking about their hobby horse.

        As people always say, the times they are a-changing.

    6. Press freedom is a lesser right than abortion. They do not want to put them selves in the position of defending the rights of an abortion critic.

  4. More bad economic news.

    Our billionaire benefactor Charles Koch is still stuck below $60 billion.

    Even this self-made economic miracle worker cannot manage to make a buck during the #DrumpfRecession. His wealth is up a mere $187 million this year, which as a percent change is negligible. I blame the tariffs and immigration restrictions.


  5. Well, I’ll give Warren and Harris this–most political candidates at least pay lip service to Constitutional measures when they say they want to ban things. These women full-out said that they’ll unilaterally declare the 2nd Amendment null and void the second they take office. At least they were honest about it.

  6. Thought it was funny hearing Harris discuss how she knew Trump was watching when he demonstrably and provably was not doing so.

    1. She apparently brought his name up more than any of the other candidates last night. I don’t think it’s Trump that’s obsessed here.

      Sort of like how Chrissy Teigen tweets at him non-stop, begging for attention, and goes orgasmic the one time he graced her with the knowledge of her existence.

  7. Piper has since admitted to her parents that she vaped THC oil.

    From what I understand, that’s actually been the main cause of most of the cases of people getting sick.

    1. Don’t let facts get in the way of hysteria.

  8. I’m also glad to hear that reason writers nver have an original thought and all nod in agreement when one says something. Seriously, no discussions on ideas? You all suffer from group think?

    1. “If you’re not happy here, you can leave.” I think President Trump was talking to you.

      1. You precious child.

    2. Seriously, why do you come here every day to read a blog that you don’t like?

    3. If you’d like to hear the discussions of the ideas you can listen to the podcast they recorded about the debate.

  9. “Real distinctions” is a matter of perspective. There may be real distinctions between an F-150 and a Silverado, but compared to the distinctions between an F-150 and an F-15, they’re practically the same thing. When they’re just arguing over what truck you’re going to get run over with, there’s no meaningful distinction.

    1. When your political coalition has about as much chance of stopping that truck as a damp paper towel, you might as well try to see if there’s a truck you hate a little less than the rest of them.

  10. What happens when the Democratic presidential candidates stop being polite and start getting real?

    Blood starts coming out of wherever?

    1. A military takeover?

    2. Twitter is actually worth checking out for a few hours?

    3. Not to mention teeth.

  11. Democrats willingness to trust individuals to run their own lives: falls somewhere between Zero and Zip point Shit.

    1. Except, of course, for the Holy Democracy thing. Then all individuals employ their political genius (except Deplorables TM).

      1. Unless the Dems lose, then Russian memes or something fooled the poor dears.

    2. Yeah, guns conveniently skipped over, as are schools, light bulbs, the green new deal, keeping our money (taxes), employer right of contract ( gig economy and minimum wage), free speech and free association, and 99% of our everyday lives

      But, we trust you to kill babies!

  12. …happy to hear so many candidates at least pay lip service to getting out of Afghanistan and ending America’s endless wars.

    As happy as Charlie Brown watching Lucy hold that football so steady.

    1. And what will Reason do if Trump actually does pull out of Afghanistan before the election? How will some (most?) of them try and justify voting for any of the above mentioned morons? Oh I know, immigration.

      1. It’s weird to me that you assume any of them will vote democratic, rather than for whatever loon we libertarians grudgingly agree on.

      2. They’ll all vote for the leftist while claiming to either not vote at all, not remember who they voted for(one of them actually said this when Obama was first elected) or pretending to vote for the GOP failure the LP will put up.

        It’s what they always do.

    2. I seem to recall, ending endless war was part of Obama’s platform as well. It’s one of the reasons I was duped into voting for him when I was 18 and naive. At least I was smart enough not to repeat the mistake and threw away my next vote on Gary like a proper libertarian.

  13. The Ohio State University lost its silly bid to trademark the word the.

    Now it’s just another university.

    1. An Ohio State University.

    2. That other school had to joke about trademarking the word “of” because three-letter words are too complicated for most of their alumni. I say “most” because I do have to begrudgingly admit that Tom Brady knows how to spell his first name. But you’ll notice he doesn’t go by “Thomas”.

    3. Good. It would have screwed up their marching band routine.

  14. A Republican SuperPAC has decided it’s a good idea to symbolically set Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on fire.

    An effigy to their stupidity.

    1. I guess they think she’s hot.

      1. Wood not.

  15. California is banning private prisons and private immigration detention facilities.

    They were too accountable.

  16. Piper has since admitted to her parents that she vaped THC oil.

    And she wouldn’t have vaped the THC if vaping was illegal!

    1. Or if she was on a breeding farm with close supervision.

  17. Turns out White Claw tastes like a Jolly Rancher dropped in weak club soda.

    I was served breakfast the other day that tasted like a pile of ground pepper that someone had over-salted.

    1. Maybe Mrs. Fist is trying to tell you something.

  18. Cody Wilson (ex-Defense Distributed) was sentenced in court the other day for his associations with a girl he had good reason to believe was 18 years old. After consultation with the “victim’s” family, apparently, prosecutors allowed Wilson to plead guilty to a third degree felony–and the judge approved the plea bargain at sentencing. Wilson is no longer allowed to own a gun, must register as a sex offender, is on probation, etc., but he faces no jail time. That being said, the statements made by the “victim’s” mother at sentencing are among the most fucked up things I’ve heard in court in a long time.

    “This is an impossible task. Somehow I am supposed to make a statement that fully explains your actions, but my truth is over a year ago, I always hold in my hand, the minute you paid my daughter for what you did to her…

    The investigation period was terrifying. Reading who you are and what you believe in created a very real and reasonable fear for our family and everyone in it. So I would take pictures of her every time she left my car in the months leading up to the case just in case I had to ID what she was last wearing…

    Our daily life was shattered, but she never wavered from the truth. Once she knew who you are and what you did, she never wavered. She remembers the gun you put in her hands and the feeling of your skin. But you ran, despite the publicity you have always been seeking from your fans and followers, you ran. You hid in a foreign airport and only came back because you were made to. She stood up in a public forum despite talk of conspiracies and setups…

    I pray that you will not be killed, especially that you will not be killed by a gun… The truth is you are now hiding behind the laws of the country you mocked for years. But the biggest truth is my daughter is strong, vibrant, and has a beautiful future. And I speak this truth in front of you because that’s the most important truth in all of this.”

    —-Victim’s Mother as reported by Ars Technica

    Focus on these three statements:

    1) “Reading who you are and what you believe in created a very real and reasonable fear for our family and everyone in it.”

    2) “Once she knew who you are and what you did, she never wavered.”

    3) “The truth is you are now hiding behind the laws of the country you mocked for years.”

    Just for the record, being an anarcho-capitalist and believing in anarcho-capitalist ideas is not against the law. Furthermore, nothing Cody Wilson did with Defense Distributed was against the law either. Selling milling machines wasn’t against the law. Releasing plans for a gun that can be 3-d printed wasn’t against the law. Owning a gun and showing it to people isn’t against the law either. This woman seems to imagine that Cody Wilson was being convicted of believing in anarcho-capitalist ideas and for what he did with Defense Distributed!

    . . . and I can’t blame her. It would be unreasonable not to at least suspect that Cody Wilson was targeted by the government because of his activities with Defense Distributed. It may well have been like the feds going after Al Capone for tax evasion–except Cody Wilson, apart from his associations with this girl who apparently lied about her age, never seems to have committed any other crime.

    1. Something about eggs and omelettes?

    2. Ross Ulbricht was not sentenced to life in prison without parole for running The Silk Road. It was for the beliefs he held while doing so.

      1. From the sentencing hearing:

        Silk Road’s birth and its presence asserted that its creator — you — and its operator — were better than the laws of this country and there are posts which discuss the laws as the oppressor and that each transaction is a victory over the oppressor. This is deeply troubling and terribly misguided and also very dangerous.

    3. While I am definitely in favor of both the 2nd amendment and legal prostitution, I can’t say I feel a ton of sympathy for Wilson here. Is it a ridiculous circus, and was his activism possibly related to the decision to prosecute him here? Probably. But if you know, for a fact, you’re on the shit list of the US Attorney’s office, and you’re gonna hire a prostitute (which is already kind of a risky proposition, here, but you do you i guess) why oh why would you pick one that young looking and not even check her ID? Cody, buddy, they might be the ones hanging you but you definitely tied the noose yourself, here.

      1. He presumably took the deal because being convicted of the worst charges against him might have meant years in prison, and while I wouldn’t have voted to convict him on the basis of the evidence I’ve seen (no mens rea), a jury is like a box of chocolates.

        That Wilson should have known that everyone in the government was out to get him, that still wouldn’t justify the government targeting people for what they believe or for engaging in perfectly legal activity–if that’s what they did.

        If we live under a government that goes out of its way to discredit and undermine American citizens for what they believe and the legal things they do, then Wilson’s naivete isn’t the issue. Aren’t we all subject to this shit–the naive and the cynical alike? Is the only reason you or I haven’t been targeted because we haven’t significantly undermined the government’s ability to control us like Wilson did? If so, then that’s fucked up.

      2. Sure, blame the victim.

  19. …instead rambling about how lowering point-of-service health care costs is what families really care about.

    Don’t voters love being told what they care about? I don’t know. Maybe Democrat primary voters do.

  20. He called for three-year sunsets on congressional authorization for use of military force.

    So just be prepared to grind it out for 36 months against the United States military and you’re golden.

    1. Do you expect any Congress would vote not to renew it?

    2. If we actually fought wars to win, that would be more than enough time to defeat any of the foes we’ve recently faced.

      1. Yeah, we haven’t fought a war to win since a single B-29 renovated downtown Nagasaki.

  21. Noticeably absent was any discussion of abortion, birth control, or other reproductive issues.

    Someone figured out falling over each other trying to find the latest gestational moment mothers can dispatch their offspring was a bad look in the general, and unnecessary since their primary voters know the limits are safe with whichever.

  22. He complained that the last real reform and new ideas on immigration came in the ’80s.

    If you love Reagan so much why don’t you marry him?

  23. …and to give potential immigrants a more positive image of America as a good place for businesses and families.

    Optics aren’t the problem. You want to make America a better place for businesses for everyone? Lower taxes and cut regulation. Who is willing to do that? No one on that stage.

  24. Can Reason stop fellating Yang long enough to admit he is the most honest one about his plan for victory involving giving away free shit? Not sure how you can even come close to calling anything he does libertarian. I know your panties got wet when he mentioned libertarians but geesh.

  25. Kamala Harris is still a tyrant … did any more of Biden fall off?

    1. His teeth nearly fell out.

  26. >>vaped THC oil

    stick with the classics.

  27. If anybody’s interested in what’s really going on in the trade war, . . .

    Trump announced yesterday that he was suspending plans for another round of tariff hikes that were already announced–pending the outcome of negotiations until after October, when higher level meetings are scheduled. Lower level meetings between negotiators are ongoing.

    In response, China announced today that they were dropping tariffs on soybeans, pork, and other agricultural products.

    We’ve seen signs more positive than this come to nothing, but there is reason to hope that they may be orchestrating an end to the trade war.

    China, meanwhile, appears to be outlining a deal on technology–especially forced technology transfers–which has been the biggest obstacle to a deal (not that any staff at Reason have ever bothered to mention it). In the terms the Chinese are using to sell it, they want to separate issues of national security from issues of trade in negotiations. Fundamentally, what they mean is they may be willing to capitulate on forced technology transfers if Trump will capitulate on his technology blacklist–with the prohibition against American companies selling products to Huawei being a prime example.

    I don’t believe getting China to capitulate on forced technology transfers was worth the risk of losing our trade relationship with China, but if anything could justify the trade war, it would only be a) if it were temporary and b) if it took down a trade barrier for American businesses, which is what forced technology transfers are all about. Trump should do this deal if this is what’s on the table.

    I see no reason to doubt that companies like Huawei aren’t working hand in glove with Beijing’s intelligence services, but I don’t see entirety of the U.S. economy should be held hostage to that. The U.S. government should remain free to refuse to use Huawei’s products in any area where it might compromise U.S. security–just like they did with Kaspersky Labs. Meanwhile, just like with Kaspersky Labs, private companies and private consumers don’t need to be prohibited by law from using Huawei’s products. Kaspersky’s business suffered because of those associations with Russian intelligence services, and if I had to choose between Huawei and someone else for more or less the same price, I’d choose someone else just because of Huawei’s associations with China’s intelligence services.

  28. “How we will pay for it?”

    Here’s a thought- just do what anyone else is doing. Canadians pay half of what Americans do for healthcare and cover everyone. America as a whole pays more per GDP than any other country with universal healthcare.

    The question isn’t “how to pay for it” but rather “what system do we want.”

    1. And the answer depends mainly on how much money you make.

    2. Canada has 10 percent of our population, and we already spend $1.4 trillion on Medicare and Medicaid services at the federal level. Ten years ago it was $800 billion.

    3. Canadians pay half of what Americans do for healthcare and cover everyone. America as a whole pays more per GDP than any other country with universal healthcare.

      And the homeless guy who sleeps in the gutter outside my office spends 1/10th what I do on food, and infinitely less on shelter.

      I should get his plan – it sounds awesome!

    4. I believe the Canadians get what they pay for also. It is decent for maintenance, not so good if you need something fixed and the system can delay your treatment.

    5. And British Columbia is so short of OB beds, especially high risk ones that high risk pregnancies get sent to hospitals in Washington State. Half the cost half the care twice the rationing. Where do I sign up?

  29. I think I’ve figured it out – the fact of the matter is that Nancy Pelosi is the head of the Democratic Party, she’s their only hope for advancing their agenda for the next 5 years and they know it. It’s Joe Biden’s turn and he deserves his moment so they’ll throw him out there, but nobody else with a lick of sense is going to bother running against Trump. Pelosi is happy to lay back in the weeds and let the whack-a-doodles in the party have their fun, but shit gets serious next year and she’s got a House to keep and a Senate to win.

    The media is of course desperate to keep the outrage cranked up to 11, nobody’s going to watch the New England Patriots play Our Lady of Sorrows Orphanage For Little Blind Girls so they have to pretend that this contest is going to be a real nail-biter. Plus, it distracts from Pelosi and what she’s doing and the quieter she keeps it, the happier she is.

    The truth is, all this sturm und drang over the Democratic nomination and the 2020 election is Fake News cooked up by a media desperate for eyeballs and ad revenue and it doesn’t mean a thing. When the con man is trying to distract you, you’d better figure out what he’s trying to distract you from.

  30. Lots of talk about “the rich” and making corporations tow whatever line, but absolutely nothing about the actual economy? Guess they are better off ignoring that for now.

  31. “Harris condemned Trump conducting “trade policy by tweet” and said, surprisingly directly, “I am not a protectionist Democrat.”

    Prison jobs don’t count

    1. Prison jobs don’t count

      Oooh. That’s gonna leave a mark.

  32. “Perhaps the biggest difference is how much trust the candidates place in individuals.”

    You can say you trust the people to make their own choices, but the policies don’t back that up. As in, “we’re coming for your guns”.

  33. “”Warren condemned U.S. companies who move operations abroad and said she wants to negotiate trade with unions, environmentalists, and farmers “at the table.”

    ‘She is genuinely worse on trade than anybody,’ said Shikha Dalmia,”

    Oh goddamit, Shikha can you keep you mouth shut? Now I’ve gotta vote for Warren.

    1. I think that if she was kept away from immigration and Trump related stories, Dalmia wouldn’t actually be that bad.

      1. Yeah – mostly its her rhetorical dishonesty that is the problem, not her baseline views.

        1. Nah here baseline views are somewhat questionable at times too.

  34. Castro said he would “ratchet down” the trade war with China but use U.S. leverage to force countries like China and North Korea to address human rights abuses.
    The problem that Castro is not taking into consideration is there is not much leverage on China and North Korea that the US can use to change their human rights abuses. China, for instance, Trump is using what little leverage the US has on trade and yet the democrats are complaining about the supposed damage it is causing to the US economy. Yet he would do the same damage to the US economy to get something that brings no value to the US citizen. Now if you are going to do the same damage to the US economy and yet not get any thing back form that damage why complain about what Trump is doing now in the trade dispute with China?

    1. Castro’s a Clintonite, so I’m assuming what he means by “leverage” is “bend over and take whatever China shoves up our bunghole, and give them anything they please in return.”

      I mean, shit, we now know that China had access to Hillary’s classified emails via her server, through one of their nationalized businesses. Why should we expect any different from the La Raza Prince?

      1. So a continuation of everyone’s policy since Nixon until Trump?

  35. Warren blamed a lack of U.S. aid to Central America for the current “crisis at the border.”

    The fact that we’re now admitting there’s a crisis at the border tells me just how much we’ve grown up.

    1. Except the ‘crisis’ as they see it is the enforcement, not the crossings.

  36. >>Wish this was not such a bold opinion but it actually is!

    be on the team who kills “actually” Robby. “That” too.

  37. Thanks Elizabeth. I recorded the debate but barely feel the need to watch after your summary.

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